All Android 5G smartphones to support Airtel 5G from mid-November: Airtel CEO

Airtel CEO: All Android 5G smartphones will support Airtel 5G by mid-November

According to Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal, all 5G-ready models from OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo are ready, while supporting 16 out of 27 Samsung phones

All Apple devices will be ready by mid-November to early December: Vittal

Regarding Airtel’s 5G deployment plans, Vittal said that by March 2024, the telco expects to cover all towns and cities in Indian cities as well as major rural areas

During the quarterly earnings call for the quarter ended September 30, 2022, Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal said that all 5G-enabled smartphones, except the iPhone, will support Airtel’s 5G network by mid-November.

Vittal added that Apple will soon release a software update to include 5G support.

“All Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo and realme devices are now ready for our network. Samsung and OnePlus will be fully ready in the next few weeks. Soon after that, Apple – it looks like Apple will be Be ready in mid-November to early December,” Vital said on the telco’s earnings call.

Talking about the same details, Vittal noted that of the 27 Samsung smartphone models that support 5G, 16 are ready and enabled. Samsung’s other smartphones will be ready on November 10-12.

“Apple has 13 models. They will have [software update] They should be ready around the first week of November and mid-December,” Vittal added.

The Airtel CEO added that all 17 models from OnePlus will support Airtel 5G Plus, as well as all 34 models from Vivo and realme. Finally, Vittal noted that all 33 5G-enabled smartphones from Xiaomi and all 14 models from OPPO will run on Airtel’s 5G.

When it comes to 5G pricing, Vittal said Airtel will continue to offer 5G at 4G rates for the first few months, but will make the same decision in the next six to nine months.

Alternative technologies won’t work on existing devices or could result in a poorer experience, Vittal said. To illustrate this claim, it should be noted that Airtel is launching 5G with non-standalone (NSA) technology. This allows telcos to deliver 5G experiences using existing infrastructure, using fewer resources. “Because our anchor band is on the underlying 4G layer, our 5G band covers an additional 100 meters,” Vittal added.

Interestingly, Airtel’s biggest competitor and market leader Reliance Jio is launching its 5G network in SA mode.

Vittal also clarified Airtel’s 5G deployment plans. “We have now started rolling out Airtel 5G Plus in eight cities. By March 2024, we expect to cover all towns and cities in Indian cities as well as major rural areas,” Vital said. The CEO noted that as more users migrate from 4G to 5G, telcos will devote more spectrum to support “one-click handover” for new users.

Vittal added that while the next-generation network has limited use cases outside of high-speed broadband, Airtel is working with the company to develop new use cases. “We are working with a large number of companies, including startups, to test the use case,” Vittal added.

The telco’s net income rose 89% yoy to Rs 2,145 in the second quarter of FY23 and revenue rose 22.3% yoy to Rs 24,333. Airtel’s average revenue per user (ARPU) increased to INR 190, the highest in the telecom industry.

Source of information: Compiled from INC42 by 0x Information.The copyright belongs to the author Hemant Kashyap and may not be reproduced without permission

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